3 Homemade Treats for Gifting on a Budget

Don’t tarnish precious holiday moments by worrying about money. Forego the shops and overpriced items, and enjoy time in the kitchen concocting delicious treats for those you love. Everyone appreciates homemade treats!

For an even more festive soirée, invite friends over for a gift-making extravaganza. Decide together which treats you’ll make and split the costs of the ingredients. Spend the day listening to holiday music and making gifts together.

Below are some delicious, easy homemade treats that won’t wreak havoc on your budget.

For the Chocolate Aficionado – Holiday Chocolates

For the friend who always has an emergency stash of chocolate at their house, or inside their purse, this will be the perfect treat to gift. These holiday chocolates are both scrumptious and beautiful!

Consider your friend’s preferences to select the best fruit, chocolate, and nuts. When selecting fruit, opt for dried varieties to extend shelf life.

There is no need to spend money on a mold when there are plenty of items around the house that work perfectly. You can easily use an egg carton or an ice cube tray.

What You’ll Need:

Chocolate (dark, milk, white)

Nuts (almonds, pecans, walnuts, seeds)

Fruit (dried)

Garnish (coconut flakes, cinnamon, etc.)



  1. Chop the chocolate into thin, small pieces and microwave in 30-second increments to melt evenly without burning.
  2. Next, pour the melted chocolate into the mold and immediately add your toppings and garnishes of choice.
  3. Let the chocolates harden for the next few hours. If you must speed up the process, you can stick them in the fridge.
  4. Store the chocolates in an airtight container until ready to gift. Use holiday plastic wrap, or a themed container. Finish with a festive holiday bow!

For the Health Nut – Reindeer Feed

A healthier trail mix, Reindeer Feed is the perfect treat for your health-conscious friends. This guilt-free treat is a wonderful balance of carbs, protein, and fat!

If you are low on time, this is the easiest option to make quickly. Reindeer Feed is a customizable treat you can make based on each friend’s preference.

What You’ll Need:

Whole Wheat Chex® cereal


Chopped nuts of choice: almonds, pecans, walnuts

Cacao nibs or dark chocolate chips

Cinnamon to sprinkle



  1. Mix together all the ingredients based on any ratio you prefer.
  2. Store in a holiday container.

For the Sweet and Salty Friend – Festive Snow Balls

These Festive Snow Balls are made with popcorn, which is the perfect touch of saltiness to a sweet treat. The snowballs are super easy to make and are fun for the little ones to help put together. Everyone can join in on the fun!

What You’ll Need: (yields 10-12 popcorn balls)

1 Bag of popcorn

3 Tablespoons peanut butter

4 Ounces dates

Water (to thin paste)

2 Ounces white chocolate

Dried fruit (amount to taste)


  1. Place dates in food processor and process until a thick paste forms.
  2. Add in the peanut butter and continue to process together.
  3. Pour water in to thin out the mixture until a paste-like consistency is achieved.
  4. Microwave the popcorn bag according to directions and pour into a bowl.
  5. Stir the paste into the bowl with popcorn and coat it evenly.
  6. Soak your hands with cooking oil so popcorn won’t stick.
  7. Form popcorn into “snow balls” using your hands and place in fridge for 10-15 minutes.
  8. Melt the white chocolate and add food coloring (if desired). Consider making red and green chocolate to drizzle in addition to plain white.
  9. Drizzle melted chocolate over the snowballs.
  10. Add toppings, like chopped cranberries, on top of the melting chocolate before it dries to add some color (if desired).

Looking for more homemade treat ideas?

Check out these other treats we love for the holiday season!

Peppermint Bark Popcorn

There is nothing like the chocolate and peppermint taste combination. Beware though: don’t start eating this while you are making it or you might not have any left to give away!

White Chocolate Pretzel Sandwich

Sometimes you need a quick fix of sweetness, but don’t want something overly sweet. These almond bites are perfect and super cute to throw in a plastic baggy with a bow. For a more festive feel, sprinkle crushed peppermint pieces over the white chocolate before you put these in the fridge.


Mexican-Chocolate Almond and Cherry Cookies

A bit of spice during the holiday season is necessary. These chocolate cookies are the perfect mixture of sweet and spicy!

Other Tips to Keep Holiday Grocery Costs Down

Gifting homemade treats can be a wonderful way to keep costs down. However, if you aren’t careful and purposeful in what you select, you could end up spending more money than planned.

Purchasing ingredients in bulk can cut costs. Be sure you are making enough of the treats that you don’t waste any ingredients and can stretch your ingredients as much as possible.

Look at the recipe and see where you can improvise or if any items aren’t necessary. Many recipes add extra expenses that might not really be needed.

Head to a dollar store, to pick up your holiday bows and boxes. They have a wide selection and won’t hurt your budget.

And don’t forget: visit your nearest Homeland to pick up the ingredients for your treats!


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